Thursday , Mar , 24 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Would a lockout push Rivers from Celtics to Heat?

Celtics fans may have one reason to root for a lockout. A delay in the start of the season might actually work to the team’s advantage in retaining a prized free agent — head coach Doc Rivers.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: On the one hand, a lockout may help the Boston Celtics re-sign their brilliant coach Glen ‘Doc’ Rivers.

A work stoppage would let Rivers spend additional time in Florida with his children, who are competitive athletes. The hope is he would take the extra time to get refreshed and refocused, and ink another one-year contract with the Celtics.

The key word is hope.

On the other hand, a lockout may hurt the Celtics’ ability to keep Rivers. Suppose there’s a prolonged work stoppage. Kevin Garnett and/or Ray Allen could retire. Yes, The Big Ticket and Jesus Shuttlesworth could cash their 501K and call it a career.

Would Rivers return to a Celtics squad without Garnett and/or Allen?

After all, Rivers has his money. And he seems awfully content relaxing with family in and around Florida.

This could also be a ploy. Rivers has often been linked to the Miami Heat, especially since South Beach’s current coach Erik ‘Cry-Gate’ Spoelstra seems overwhelmed.

Suppose the Heat fall short of expectations. As much as he loves the spotlight, oil-slick GM Pat Riley probably won’t leave the executive suite for the sideline.

The Heat needs a coach for the long term –like Rivers. So expect Riley to give Rivers, a master at handling superstars, a blank cheque. And Rivers would have to choose between the aging Celtics and the superstar-laden Heat.

And the Heat’s offer would be tough to turn down.

–Oly Sandor.

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